The El Camino High School football team met after the nonleague season and set a goal to win the Peninsula Athletic League Lake Division and make it to the Central Coast Section playoffs.
Capuchino (2-3) feels its nonleague slate prepared it for league play and, if it can remain healthy, can compete.
The two meet Friday in PAL Lake action in San Bruno.
“We need to be a disciplined team,” Capuchino coach Adam Hyndman said. “We want the kids to be winners.”
Capuchino’s defense has been a physical force behind standout seniors Kevin Monford and Tim Gretter.
“He talks with his pads,” Hyndman said of Monford. “He has gained the respect from the other teams.”
Capuchino is coming off a bye week, which allowed the Mustangs to get healthy.
“The bye week helped our guys heal, which is crucial going into our first league game,” Hyndman said.
Capuchino fell to Aragon 24-0 on Sept. 30.
“They like to bring a lot of pressure,” El Camino coach Mark Turner said of Capuchino. “They have a lot of guys that work really hard.”
Turner said he is afraid of teams with players that make the “effort plays.”
El Camino (3-2, 1-0 PAL Lake) took last year’s matchup between the two teams 47-20.
The Colts won their first league game against Hillsdale 33-14 last week.
“Last week was probably the best game we’ve played all year,” Turner said. “We put it all together.”
That success has come in part to Turner’s team winning its battles on the offensive and defensive lines behind lineman Aaron Hill and Chris Pola.
“They’ve been dominating their assignments,” Turner said.
El Camino has losses to Jefferson and Menlo-Atherton but Turner said the team’s 3-2 record is not indicative to how his team has played.
“We just have to make sure we play the right way,” Turner said.
El Camino turned the ball over three times in the red zone against Jefferson and if it can limit its mistakes, Turner thinks his team can beat anybody.
“It let us know that we can play with some of the best teams around,” Turner said. “When we went back and watched the film, there were a lot of matchups we won. When we don’t make mistakes, we are a very good team.”
Pola and Hill have provided the holes for standout running back D.J. Peluso.
Hyndman said stopping Peluso is a key for his team.
“We’re very similar to El Camino,” Hyndman said. “We like to build our offense with the run.”
Capuchino played a tough preseason with games against Aragon, South City and Valley Christian.
The two finished in a three-way tie with Hillsdale at 3-2 in league last season behind now-Ocean member Sequoia.
This game is El Camino’s second of three straight games away from home.
Capuchino vs. El Camino
WHEN: Friday, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Capuchino High School
LAST YEAR: El Camino beat Capuchino 47-20
PREVIOUS GAMES: Capuchino lost to Aragon 24-0 on Sept. 30; El Camino beat Hillsdale 33-14 last week